Fees flagged in SF

PAID parking and time restrictions could be introduced in South Fremantle’s bustling commercial strip to help deal with congestion and make it easier for residents to find a spot closer to home.

Fremantle council’s policy and legislation committee on Wednesday adopted a set of principles to guide a new city-wide Parking Plan, though busy South Fremantle and to some degree North Fremantle were at the forefront of councillor’s considerations.

City ward councillor Rachel Pemberton even flagged an amendment directing officers to investigate paid parking in the two busy commercial precincts, but didn’t pursue it after deciding it was already covered in the officer’s recommendation.

Cr Pemberton said Wednesday’s vote was only to adopt the guiding principles, but paid parking along South Terrace would fit in with measures outlined in an officer’s report.

“But I don’t think it would be just about paid parking, some of it would be about time limits,” she said.

The report says overflow into side streets from busy commercial centres is creating conflict with residents, leading to a petition in October last year from Harbour Street residents asking for everyone else to be kicked out.

It says existing parking permits for residents should be adequate, and sets a target of an available bay within 200 metres of every home – though allowing for 400 metres in “extreme situations”.

“Amendments to parking time limits and potentially introduction of fees may be used to achieve the targets,” the report said, while adding that trimming that target to 100 metres would mean paid parking over a much wider area of the city.

Cr Pemberton said her fear would be that paid parking on South Terrace would push parkers further into the side streets, simply shifting the problem further along.

She eventually moved an amendment to the officer’s recommendation that along with measures such as fees and time limits, staff also look at a wider range of factors about creating an “urban realm” to help deal with parking issues.

“To use the CBD as an example, we have been planning a walking urban core and having people parking on the outside, so you look at how we create an urban realm including things like the tree canopy and general amenity to support it.”

The report also flags improvements to bike and public transport infrastructure to help with the parking crunch, and even suggests the possibility of an e-scooter rental scheme.

by STEVE GRANT

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